Exhibitions are a great way to promote your brand, products and services. But to do them right takes a lot of planning and organisation. We’ve compiled 10 commonly asked questions about exhibition marketing.
1. When should I create an exhibition marketing plan?
Start as soon as you know you’re exhibiting at an event to give yourself the most time possible. There are materials to order, services to book and layouts to plan.
Even if the show is several months away, start planning now. The most successful exhibitors plan well ahead to ensure all bases are covered. This also gives you time to plan launches and potential media coverage for the best ROI.
2. How should I mock-up my exhibition stand space?
When you know how much space you have for your stand, measure this out in an open space – or create a scale model of the plan that can be laid out on desktops.
Gather all the products and elements you’re likely to have on your stand and lay them out – using cardboard cut-outs if you’re working on a scaled down version.
Think about infrastructure, such as exhibition stand and pop up displays, and as well as your key products. This will help with the details, such as getting the right roller banner size to fit around your stand.
The important thing is to create an accurate floorplan that can be followed on the day when you set up.
3. When should I purchase my exhibition marketing materials?
Much like starting your exhibition marketing plan, look to purchase your marketing materials as soon as you’ve confirmed your attendance at an exhibition – and you know how you’re going to promote your appearance.
Think about what you’re going to need: from bigger items like an exhibition stand to business cards for your sales reps. Do some research to get an idea of lead times.
You may also want to buy advertising space at the venue. There may be a deadline for submitting artwork for this, so take this into consideration.
Many of these tips will also apply to your conference marketing plan for more B2B events.
4. What promotional materials should I use to advertise?
You will first need to consider your budget to avoid an overspend. Also, consider how you want to promote your presence at the exhibition. Ideas include:
- Leaflets and flyers to promote your top show deals
- Brochures to provide info on big-ticket items
- Literature stands for your brochures and leaflets
- Flyers to promote competitions or vouchers
- Pop-up towers for visibility over the crowds
- Exhibition stands to provide a focal point and desk
5. How many products should I display on my stand?
This depends on whether you’re focusing on one new product launch or showcasing a collection – and the stand space available. When looking at exhibition display ideas, your products need to be the star of the show.
Remember less is often more. Prospective customers could feel overwhelmed if you’ve overloaded the space, especially if that space is small. Think about the products that will have the biggest appeal or potentially create headlines in industry magazines – and build your stand around them.
6. When should I send out my promotional materials?
Don’t make the mistake of leaving this to the last minute. Successful brands begin to promote the next exhibition straight after completion of the current one.
Think of it like a wedding invitation and send out a ‘save the date’ in plenty of time. Ideally, from here, you can keep everyone up to speed at regular intervals.
Try adding banners to websites and branded email signatures with reference to your appearance to ensure every site visit and email sent promotes your exhibition presence.
7. Should I create a press pack?
Does your event justify a press pack? What are you doing that will make the relevant industry press visit your stand and write about it? Is there any news? What are the headlines?
This could include…
- High-profile product launch
- Unveiling of a new technology
- Announcement of a new partnership
- Celebrity appearance on your stand
If the answer is yes, and your budget can accommodate it, then a press pack is a great way to provide journalists with everything they need to know about you and your brand.
Send this out in plenty of time, so you can set up an interview with the journalist if they can’t attend on the day. Also, contact relevant trade magazines with your press pack to let them know you’re exhibiting and place a download link on your website.
8. How can I encourage customers to visit my stand?
There are many ways to encourage visitors onto your stand. Most of which involve planning ahead of the event. These include…
- Speak to the organisers about potential promotional opportunities
- Write a press release and distribute beforehand to relevant media
- Create marketing emails and social posts ahead of the event
- Promote exclusive special offers available only on the day
- Live blog the event on your social channels once the event is underway
Finally, consider making appointments with visitors or buyers before the event – this will encourage quality customers to visit your stand.
9. How can I advertise to stand out?
Here, branding plays a big part. Utilise your stand space effectively, with promotional materials that will instantly draw attention to your stand – roller banners and large posters are a good way to bring your space to life.
Go the extra mile by hosting a talk or presentation. This can help you draw a crowd and create buzz. Good one-off events can keep your stand in the spotlight – just be sure to advertise them beforehand.
10. Should I follow up?
Absolutely. Part of your plan should be to collect visitor information at the exhibition. Be sure to be compliant with new GDPR rules when doing this.
Think about how you can market to these exhibition attendees after the event. Find ways to stay fresh in the mind of these potential customers – via print or digital.
Ready to get started?